Papadhia “Matushka” Nancy Extends Gratitude from Kenya: Virtual Team Combats Isolation

Virtual mission team for Kenyan clergy wivesFollowing a recent OCMC Virtual Team event for Kenyan clergy wives (“papadhias”), Papadhia Nancy, leader of the clergy wives group, offered her appreciation: “On behalf of the papadhias from Kisumu Diocese, we would like to say thank you so much for the retreat we had today. What an amazing session, for our first virtual meeting. The papadhias are requesting more online meetings as we continue to pray that God calms down the pandemic of COVID. God bless you so much. Amen and Amen.”

She signed her message “Matushka Nancy”. The title she chose – Matushka (“little mother”), rather than Papadhia - spoke volumes about the way that the virtual team had erased the boundaries and isolation of this last year.

The OCMC virtual team included three Orthodox clergy wives from different parishes in the US, offering lessons on the role of the clergy wife. Matushka Alexandra Safchuk, of Bethesda, MD, discussed the history and meaning of the titles that are used to refer to Orthodox clergy wives. By signing her later email Matushka, Papadhia Nancy identified with the role of being her parish’s “little mother” and with the women who had participated in the seminar. Another discussion, led by Matushka Wendy Cwiklinski of Oceanside, CA, was on the pious life and example of the Blessed Matushka Olga from Alaska. Presbytera Anastasia “Anast” Jonas, of Palos Hills, IL, included a PowerPoint presentation on honoring the Theotokos, which deeply touched the Kenyan clergy wives. Many of the papadhias jumped out of their chairs to take pictures of the screen as a reminder of their connection to the Theotokos and the clergy wives from America leading the virtual team.

 A few hours of teaching by a virtual team can help enrich women, catechists, youth, and others, empowering them to teach others about Jesus Christ and the Holy Orthodox Faith.

To explore how you can become part of an OCMC Virtual Team, click on the upcoming opportunities or send a message to

Register today!